Paul Thiebaut III, CEO and Founder
Paul began a slow walk toward founding 10BH when he was held back in 2nd grade due to reading delays and predictably dropped out of high school in 1999 (children behind in reading in 3rd grade have a 75% chance of dropping out of high school).
In 2007, Paul began a private tutoring practice, the same year he earned his BA in Economics and Minor in Business Administration from San Jose State University. It was during this period of Paul’s life he conceived of an education nonprofit that could provide home tutoring to children whose parents could not afford it. After losing his mother to cancer in late 2008 and feeling constrained in a Master’s Program, Paul decided to take a risk. In 2009, he dropped out, starting collecting books in Palo Alto to donate in East Palo Alto, and began preparing 10BH’s 501(c)(3) exemption application. It wouldn’t be until 2011 that Paul would become 10BH’s first part-time employee.
Paul’s motivation to start a nonprofit in East Palo Alto stems from experience and personal vision. Paul had friends in East Palo Alto throughout his life and knew many of the hardships they experienced. He also had experience working with youth in the community at the YMCA and College Track. Then, in 2007, Paul moved into East Palo Alto, first as an affordable place to live, then as a community to empower. As Paul studied the long track record of educational disparities East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood District, he became convinced that something new needed to be done. His mission became to raise student achievement in the district by empowering children and parents in their homes. Watch Paul speak to students about why early education matters.
Natalie Cabral, Program Manager
Natalie graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communications. Her background and experience in childhood development comes from five years of working with the East Valley YMCA in San Jose. Her interest in improving early education sprouted from the years she spent working with both afterschool and child care programs. Natalie and 10 Books A Home united when she was assigned an article about our program for SJSU’s newspaper, the Spartan Daily.
Having grown up in East San Jose, Natalie is familiar with the educational struggles of low-income neighborhoods. Natalie struggled to master the basics of simple mathematics as an elementary student herself, and thanks to the close participation of her parents, she was able to become the first in her family to graduate from a university. Her mother, an immigrant from Nicaragua, heavily influenced her beliefs that parent involvement in a student's learning is crucial to success. Now, alongside 10 Books A Home, Natalie hopes to make an impact within the community of East Palo Alto.
Serge Ostrovski, CFO and Board Member
Serge was born in Latvia and immigrated to the US in his early teens. He spent time growing up in some rough SF neighborhoods, but his parents were very insistent that education was a passport to a life full of options. If you asked his parents, Serge was destined to go to college. In 2007, he graduated with an accounting degree from SFSU and currently is employed as a financial analyst. Serge has volunteered as a board member and CFO since the nonprofit was founded.
Jonathan Thomas, Board Member
Born in the Bay Area, Jonathan grew up in East Palo Alto during some of its worst years. He went to grade school and high school in East Palo Alto before going to Harvard University to obtain his undergraduate degree in English. Since Jonathan was thirteen, he has worked in a multitude of educational settings, working with children between the ages of preschool and high school.
Jonathan found out about 10 Books A Home through its founder Paul not long after its creation in July 2009. He has been an active member of the organization ever since, serving as a board member and tutoring three children. Jonathan’s commitment to his community and his passion for education makes him a perfect fit with the mission and goals of 10BH. Currently, Jonathan is employed in the education and health care sectors.
Josh Hernandez, Secretary of the Board
Upon his graduation from West Valley College in 2008, Josh elected to attend Santa Clara University, where he studied Psychology. At SCU, Josh did various extracurricular activities that included research, sports, and volunteer services across the South Bay and Peninsula. Graduating in 2011, he felt uneasy about the real world, beginning life in debt, unemployed and socially withdrawn. The one key factor Josh admired about SCU was giving his time back to the community. When he discovered 10 Books A Home in August 2011, Josh instantly knew this was the clique he was looking for. 10 Books A Home has the values and integrity to introduce children to a higher education and positive lifestyle. Josh has had a great opportunity to work with this organization for over a year now, and it has introduced him to a new look on the education system. During undergrad, Josh was introduced to statistics about literacy programs in textbooks and the crucial role it incorporates leading into adulthood. Being involved one on one with child, Josh can truly say that in-home literacy programs like 10 Books A Home can strengthen a child’s mind in so many ways leading to later successful outcomes.